The Last Camaro

TOMORROW THE LAST Chevrolet Camaro will roll off the assembly line in Quebec, news that has saddened and shocked old muscle car aficionados here.

The fans don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with the Camaro, they say. It’s better looking than its lifelong competition, the Ford Mustang, and the Z-28–the performance model–packs a tire-smoking 325 horsepower engine.

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Hell No, We Won’t Go

AS USUAL, we know who we’re bombing, but we’re not sure just what the effect will be. That sentiment rules not only Washington, where, after a week of high-pitched rhetoric questioning his decision, the Republicans scrambled to back up President Clinton’s policy, but also the streets and grocery stores across the rest of the country. Clerks and busdrivers ask with proper seriousness: What exactly will this action accomplish?

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Head Shots

WITH THE ARREST of Gulf War veteran John Muhammad and his young accomplice John Malvo, the D.C. sniper case that filled the airwaves for three weeks has dwindled to a few roundtable wrap-ups, ending the biggest wave of serial killer hysteria since The Son of Sam. And while the news reporters seem grateful that the panic they helped foster is gone, there’s an odd nostalgia to their recaps, the skillful video montages bringing back the past three weeks with maybe too much loving attention to the shattered plate glass windows and yellow crime scene tape around the gas pumps. It’s as if they already miss those crazy days.

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Happy Birthday, Dear Al Capone

AL CAPONE would have turned 100 this week, a milestone few people outside of his adopted home of Chicago have noted.

In a country that feeds with such frenzy on its popular past, this is strange. Over the past fifteen years, mainstream American culture has been greedily recreating the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and now even the ’80s. There are signs that our popular historical vision has begun to re-include World War II, if only for the breadth of its spectacle and the opportunity to make easy moral pronouncements. But the Jazz Age, prohibition and the Great Depression have disappeared, it seems, from our screens, large and small.

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Four Planes

I WAS IN WASHINGTON, about two blocks from the White House, in a meeting of writers, when an administrator came in from the hallway and said there had been “a terrorist event” in New York. The administrator knew we all knew people in the city.  Once she learned more details, she’d let us know.

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